High as a Kite, A Hunter’s Guide
One of my favorite things about the hunter class is the ability to kite. Before we go into how to kite we should address what it is and why you would do it.
Kitting is keeping a mob chasing you, but not catching you until you have either killed it or brought it to a specific location. Why would you want to kite? There are a handful of reasons, such as killing a mob that is too hard to kill otherwise, specific boss fights (BWL, Ubrs, Vashj), cause some fun in a town, just for fun and bragging rights…
Please note that it can and should be used in pvp as well, but I will cover that in a guide designed just for pvp. Everything in this guide is for PVE.
The number one thing that will kill a perfect kite is stupid mistakes that come from when you panic. Just stay calm and deal with issues as they come up. Plan your routes and you will do fine.
The 10 second rule:
If you pull a mob away from it’s normal location and do not hit it for 10 seconds it will reset, gain full health and evade until it gets back to its original location. You can usually avoid this by making sure to shoot the mob with concussion shot and arcane shot (various ranks depending on the situation) every time they cooldown. If both shots miss you should either use a sting or you could even stop moving for a beat and let an auto shot fire. Just so long as you hit the mob once every 10 seconds you will be fine. Please note, the 10 second rule does not apply inside an instance. You can hit a mob one time and it will chase you forever. (I have had a mob reset in an instance, but it is rare)
Basic kite 1: To kill a mob.
Put your pet on passive and turn off growl. Get at max range and put hunters mark on your target. Shoot the mob with an aimed shot followed by a concussion shot and start moving down a clear path, like a road. You can either strafe or use jump shots, I will explain both options later. From this point on you will not stop moving away from your target unless you get out of range, at which point you will stop only long enough for the mob to get back in range. Depending on if you think it is going to take some time to kill the mob or not you will have to decide one of two ways of killing the mob.
If the mob should die relatively quick you can use max rank arcane shot, poison sting and concussion shot. You can even throw a few immolation traps if you would like. Aspect of the Hawk is fine too.
If it is a mob that you think is going to take some time to kill you will first need to make sure you have plenty of room. Nagrand for example has long roads that don’t really dead end. You will want to use poison sting, arcane shot rank 1, and concussion shot. I would stay in aspect of the viper and use immolation traps and max rank arcane shot when you have at least half your mana, if you start to dip below that, just stick to the minimum. The mob is still taking damage either way, and thus, will eventually die.
But what about my pet?
Yes, your pet should be used to kill the mob in both situations above. Keep your pet on passive turn off growl. Once you feel you have set some aggro, go ahead and send your pet in, but watch omen and get ready to pull him back if his aggro gets too high. Cower can help, but most hunters don’t have it trained on their pet for everyday things.
Your pet has a second use that will save your tail pretty often. If you get an add while kiting, and you will, send your pet after it and keep kiting. You pet will pull it off you and both the add and your pet will stop to fight each other. As you move you will get far enough away from your pet that it will de-spawn and the add will reset. Simply cal your pet and he will reappear next to you ready to go. If you pull multiple adds you can simply have your pet attack them one by one, then stop to fight them. You may want to throw a mend pet if you think it has a chance to die before you get far enough away to force a de-spawn.
Basic Kite 2: To take a mob somewhere
You will use this kite if you want to pull an elite to a city for the guards to kill or something like that. You can take a mob from STV to EPL if you wanted to. This is also useful in instances if you get good at it. Your goal here isn’t damage, it is just perfect execution of the 10 sec rule for a long distance. This is more of a test of movement- it is less likely that you will forget to hit a mob once in 10 seconds and more likely that you will get an add you can’t deal with or get slowed down and caught by the mob by not watching where you are running and getting hung up on a fence, tree or something like that. Water is also to be avoided because either the mob will not swim, evade and rest or the mob will swim faster than you and catch up. Once you get where you are going you can feign death and let either a group of players or some guards take over killing the mob, but make sure they start attacking before you feign death.
3: A little more advanced kite: Environment kite.
This is a kite to kill a mob that involves a rather small area. You want to find a location that has two levels (ground and platform) and a ramp up to the higher level on both sides. The higher level needs to be high enough that a mob cant attack you from the lower level. Picture the starting room in kara with the npc up a small set of stairs. If you are next to him, you are too high up for a mob on the lower level to hit you and you have stairs on both sides. You want to kite a mob to your set location (or just pull one that is within reach) and run up to the top, the mob will run after you and about the time it gets to the center jump off to the lower level. The mob will either keep going to the 2nd set of stairs or turn around and go back down the 1st set of stairs depending on which path is a shorter distance to you. Simply run to the opposite set of stairs that the mob does and run back up. Doing this over and over allows you to stop and shoot while the mob runs up to you and it will minimize the chance for adds and getting hung up on an unexpected fence. You can keep concussion shot and use freezing and frost traps to gain better control of where the mob runs. Takes a little bit of practice, but once you have it down you can effectively auto shot a much higher mob to death, yet I would advice you use all applicable abilities to speed up that process.
I have described one of many situations you can do this kite – but there are many other set ups – running figure 8s between two raised platforms for instance or instead of going to the top in the example above, you can jump off right as you get to the top of the steps, thus making a figure 8 with just one platform. Just keep your eyes open and you will find all kinds of places to do these kites. Just keep in mind the bread and butter of this kite is you can jump down, the mob can’t - so you have a huge advantage on speed.
4: A little more advanced kite: Seashell kite
This involves kiting a mob when you don’t have a long straight path to kite the mob, but you have a relatively large area, like an open field. You basically do a normal kite, but make ever increasing circles away from your mob. You will reset the spiral many times and move it around some. It isn’t a perfect spiral, but that gives you the idea. Think of it as trying to do circles around your mob, while the mob is chasing you. You will want to use strafe kiting for this almost every time.
Jump shots vs Strafing:
A jump shot isn’t easy to describe and takes a bit of practice. Picture you are running away from a mob in a straight line. All in one motion, you press spacebar to jump, you use your mouse to spin around and hit your arcane shot (via keyboard, no clicking), keep spinning and land facing the original direction. Optionally you don’t have to do a full 360 spin, you can stop at 180 and then spin back the original direction. Either way you need to be in the air the whole time until you are facing your original direction running away from the mob. The advantage to this method is you don’t run into trees and fences and walls and other mobs near as often because you are looking where you are going most of the time. Another advantage is it looks cooler and you feel a little more adept when you can pull it off. The disadvantages are you can’t watch the mob as easily and because it is facing your back, if it ends up getting in melee range it will probably daze you. There is also a higher chance of falling out of the 10 second rule while you are learning because you may not get the shot off plus you may land facing the wrong way (even running at the mob if you aren’t careful).
This is where you run sideways with the “q” or the “e”. You can shoot anything 180 in front of you, including directly to the side. A lot of people find this much easier than jump shots, but strafing for long distances isn’t as easy as it might sound. I run into more crap when strafing and you might want to play with your camera angles some. I never have my camera smart follow, but it might be helpful when strafing so you can spin your camera to see in front of your or behind you without having to put it back. I use my mouse to look around and I use my mouse to turn – this isn’t a good mixture while strafing.
Like I have said with a lot of this kiting stuff – practice it. Just run around strafing only while grinding. Try to kite a normal mob that is your level down a road and see if you can stay on the road. This is probably my personal weak spot. Advantages are many people find it easier than jump shots and if the mob catches up to you there is a very high chance you will not be dazed because the mob isn’t “behind” you. It is impossible to daze from the side (remember that when pvping).
Depending on the situation you will want either Aspect of the Viper or of the Cheetah up. If you are kiting to kill something Aspect of the Hawk can be used also. Have aspect of the Monkey ready incase something goes wrong and the mob gets in melee range – it can help if you need to get back away from the mob and is a good option to switch to if you like using cheetah. I would advice staying in viper or even monkey while learning and only using cheetah once you feel you aren’t at risk of being hit very often, if at all. A huge advantage of cheetah is you can get far enough and stay far enough a head of your mob that you can stop and auto shot quite often.
Saving a kite:
If a mob gets in melee range, do not try to run away with your back to them – that is how you get dazed. Switch out of aspect of cheetah if it is up. Some things you can do to get back at range : Wing clip, freezing trap, scatter shot, intimidation, frost trap, or Feign death onto your pet. These tactics can help you change directions if you back yourself into a corner as well.
If you get some adds (as in more than one -just put your pet on it if it is one add), you can always feign death onto your pet and pull the original mob away until they reset. Even if they kill your pet, you should be able to put some distance between you and them and hopefully they will reset before they catch you. You may want to switch to cheetah and skip a few concussion shots to help get away faster. Snake trap can also help – they will get aggro on the adds and probably put a slowing poison on them. You don’t want to accidentally get your main mob slowed via poison though because it will make it harder to get away from the unwanted adds.
Tips and tricks:
I have found you can kite a mob back and forth one path using freezing trap. It isn’t complex method, just when you get to the point where you want to turn around, lay a freezing trap and once the mob is trapped, run to the other side and start kiting that way. You need to make sure you don’t have a dot up and give yourself plenty of room incase the trap is resisted.
Make sure you have full ammo, some health and mana pots, some pet food and you are repaired before you set out on a kite. If you want to do a really long kite, some mana oil and mageblood can help.
There are various “glitched” areas you can kite, but I won’t got in to them right now as they are few and far between. If you want some ideas on what to kite and where just look on youtube for what others have done before.
There are some mobs that are on an invisible leash to their normal path and if you pull them too far away from it they will drop combat, evade and reset now matter how often you hit them. This is because blizzard doesn’t want you to kite it to stormwind and kill a bunch of level 10s. I guess they don’t realize how much fun that is.
If there is anything you would like me to add or correct please let me know.